Horizontal Class Conversation: “Who Are We and What is Re(a)d?”

  • with Alina Kolar, Shannon Sea, Siegmar Zacharias, Mo Salemy, Olave Basabose, Zoë Claire Miller
  • (2019)

On class in contemporary art, on class relations in Berlin, on migration, on gentrification, on inextricable relations between class & race, on structural conditions that make lives liveable for some and constricting for others. With special collaborators from a range of disciplines, care- and colourfully organised together with Loren Britton.

Centring interdisciplinary and collaborative knowledge: Horizontal Conversations are a format, coming out of Loren Britton’s work, to invite scholars, artists and practitioners across disciplines to focus their attention on a word/idea that operates as a shifter (Definition of Shifter in linguistics: A word who’s meaning shifts depending on the context.).

Two recent attempts in this format: Translation Conversation & Encryption Conversation have taken a critical position against the performance of mastery in art and use the artist talk as a forum for sharing knowledge outside of academia. Inviting contributors to present short contributions on Translation and Encryption, one after another, from their own situated perspective creates a “lecture” format that includes as many voices, speaking about “the same” topic notably differently. So far, this format has opened up the syntactic problems of shifters, allowed for cross/inter-disciplinary discussion, learning across knowledge bases and new ways of discussing the problems of naming, and the production of “who knows”.
By challenging the expectation that anyone is a master of their work through a de-colonial (Informed by Julietta Singh’s text: Unthinking Mastery) approach to language, this format of “lecturing” strives to create horizontality across disciplines and privileges the process of learning from multiple perspectives as the primary mode of study.